Looking for Narcan training
During November and December, Talbot’s Got Heart, a program launched by the Talbot County Health Department’s prevention department, will host free community Narcan/ naloxone training.
EASTON — During November and December, Talbot’s Got Heart, a program launched by the Talbot County Health Department’s prevention department, will host free community Narcan/naloxone training throughout Talbot County.
“Maryland is on pace for more than 2,000 opioid overdose deaths this year. We’re doing everything we can to slow down those numbers,” said Alexandra Duff, prevention specialist with the health department.
“Anyone who is prescribed painkillers or who has a friend or family member abusing heroin or painkillers should carry Narcan — just in case,” Duff said. “A simple 30-minute training can save a life.”
Talbot’s Got Heart, launched Oct. 1 in partnership with Mariah’s Mission Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation and Talbot County Chamber of Commerce, focuses the importance of becoming Narcan trained.
The events offer training and an overview of how to recognize an overdose and how to properly respond, along with free doses of naloxone, which reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.
“Narcan isn’t treatment. It is a tool in the toolbox that we need to save lives and help turn the tide on this epidemic, which is killing more people than we’ve ever seen before,” Duff said. “From a public health standpoint, this is a crisis, and Narcan can help stop people from dying.”
Everyone who attends a training and gets certified will receive a box with two doses of naloxone plus a kit that includes gloves, a mouth barrier and informational guides and resources.
There are 700 free doses of Narcan available for trained members of the community thanks to a state grant that provided funding for 266 boxes of Narcan to add to the existing supply.
“This grant and campaign enables us to get 700 doses of this lifesaving medicine across our county,” Duff said.
The upcoming events are set for 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 27, at the Oxford Volunteer Fire Department; Wednesday, Nov. 29, at the Tilghman Island Volunteer Fire Company; and Thursday, Dec. 14, at the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library.
Each event will include a screening of the film “Written Off,” a documentary that details the life of Matt Edwards, who lost his battle with heroin dependency.
“Written Off” is intended to help change the conversation about drug dependency, as told through Edwards’ personal journals.
The film is not yet rated, and does depict drug use and contains foul language; however, there are no age restrictions on attendance.
The film runs 117 minutes, with training immediately following. Each household trained will get a free overdose response kit.
Since June, Duff and her team have trained more than 500 people, 75 of whom were in the first month of the campaign.
“Narcan isn’t just for people who have a drug use disorder,” said Duff. “We’re seeing senior citizens overdose after accidentally taking more painkillers than they intended. We’re also hearing about Narcan saving pets that accidentally ingest medications.”
Anyone can get trained and carry the medication, which is available in Maryland without a prescription but must be obtained from a pharmacist behind the counter.
Training certificates are good for two years, and renewal certificates require a refresher course.
In addition to the Talbot’s Got Heart free community training, a “Lunch and Learn” training is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 30, at the Chamber of Commerce.
The goal of conducting business training on lunch hours at the Chamber is to have at least one person from each local business trained.
In addition to the training and film screening, there will be tables set up with information about substance abuse, prevention and where to go for help.
Talbot’s Got Heart training sessions are free, but registration is requested and available at www.Tal botsGotHeart.org.
More information about the film is available at www.written-off.com.
Registration for the Chamber of Commerce training is available online at www.talbotchamber.org or by calling 410-822-4653.
“A simple 30-minute training can save a life.” Alexandra Duff, Prevention Specialist, Talbot County Health Department